By André Santos
Team Ragde Charge’s Anikken Gjerde Alnes had a strong start to the winter season, with two personal bests and a 2nd place, in early season races in her home country, Norway. The icing on the cake is a ticket to the start line at next weekend’s World Cup stage in Lillehammer.
The Norwegian season opening in Beitostølen was packed with well-known names from the world of cross-country skiing, like Therese Johaug, Heidi Weng, Ragnhild Haga, and the rest of the Norwegian girl’s squad. All of them were ready for the first 10 km classic race on snow.
Anikken Gjerde Alnes from Team Ragde Charge managed to finish in the top 20 in a very competitive race, among the elite of the sport. With a total time of 27 minutes and 47 seconds, Anikken finished the 10 km course in the 16thposition, 2 minutes and 36 seconds behind the winner Therese Johaug, also a Team Ragde Charge’s athlete, showing the positive results of her summer training.
This was Anikken’s personal best in a 10 km race until last weekend at the Norwegian Cup in Gålå where she managed to finish 8th in the 10 km classic race, with a total time of 26 minutes and 22 seconds.
Anikken also got an impressive result in the 1.5 km freestyle sprint race where she finished second out of 64 athletes. The strong start of the season makes her feel confident in her chances in the Pro Tour this winter.
“I raced the Norwegian Cup this weekend and finished 8th in the 10 km classic race. I finished 2nd in the sprint competition the day before. The distance races at Beitostølen and Gålå are my best results in any given ten-kilometer race so far, which gives me a great kick to start the Visma Ski Classics season,” says Anikken to Pro XC Skiing.
These strong results, especially the 2nd place in the sprint, presented her the opportunity to race in Norway’s National Team at the next World Cup’s stage in Lillehammer.
“This will be my fourth time competing for the National Team. I was supposed to go to Ulriceham last year, but due to Covid-19 restrictions, I couldn’t make it. I am always happy to race well, and it feels nice to be appreciated by our National Team. It is good to see that, despite focusing on long-distance training, I have not lost my ability to sprint”, Anikken tells Pro XC Skiing.
Regardless of her strong sprint performances, Anikken’s main goal for the upcoming Visma Ski Classics season is to fight for the green bib and to support her teammate Marit Bjørgen whenever needed.